“As a curious 11-year-old, Alan Alda asked his teacher, “What is a flame?” She replied: “It’s oxidation.” Alda went on to win fame as an actor and writer, became an advocate for clear communication of science, and helped found the Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. He never stopped being curious, and he never forgot how disappointing that non-answer answer was.”
Alda’s guest editorial for Science, wherein he issued his challenge, is also well worth reading. This can also be found at the Flame Challenge site.
Do it for yourself. Do it for the kids. Do it for Hawkeye.